In a paternity by estoppel situation a man who is not the biological father of a child can be forced to pay child support. In the matter of Shondel J. v. Mark D., 7 N.Y. 3D 330, 853 NE 2d 610, 820 NYS 2d 199, 206 NYSlop op.05238 the New York State Court of Appeals held in a child support proceeding a man who had mistakenly represented himself as the child’s father could be estopped (stopped) from denying paternity. In this case the child justifiably relied on the man’s representation of paternity. This is true even though DNA testing showed the man was not the actual father of the child. The court reached this conclusion based on the best interest of the child.
Dilemma For Men Who Support Children
There is a dilemma for men who seek to help children. Imagine a case where a man seeks to help support his girlfriend’s child. He pays periodic child support. Thereafter he breaks up with the girlfriend. She brings a proceeding in the Family Court requesting he be forced to pay child support. She can allege in the suit that by paying the child support in the past he represented he was acting as the child’s father. The man could ask for DNA testing which would show that he is not the biological father of the child. When the case becomes before the Judge, the Judge can stop him from presenting evidence that he is not the actual biological father of the child because it would be in the child’s best interest to have a relationship with a father figure. It’s in the child’s best interest that money be received by the mother to help support the child. Is this justice? In the writer’s opinion, it is very questionable. No!
If you are helping to support a child that is not yours, be careful. Should your relationship with the mother end, you may be forced to make involuntary child support payments, even if you are not the biological father of the child.
The Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo is well known for protecting father’s rights throughout the Metropolitan New York area courts. Our law firm has extensive experience in representing fathers with regard to all types of Supreme Court and Family Court proceedings. We represent fathers with regard to all aspects of divorce and all divorce related issues, such as child custody, spousal maintenance (alimony), equitable distribution of property and a negotiation of separation agreements.
Orders of Protection
In situations where the fathers are alleged to have acted inappropriately concerning their spouse, girlfriends or children, we represent fathers in dealing with orders of protection, child abuse and child neglect proceedings, Child Protective Services (CPS) and Association for Children Services (ACS) proceedings as well as issues involving paternity. We also have extensive experience in obtaining annulments for fathers, reducing child support and dealing with parental alienation situations where mothers turn the children against fathers. Call us for a free consultation at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.